NEW YORK (Mar. 23)
Brig. Gen. S.L.A. Marshall, author and military affairs analyst, told the National Leadership Conference on Mideast Peace today that the “so-called Mideast Crisis is as phony as an eight dollar bill.” Addressing 600 delegates from across the nation, Brig. Gen. Marshall said that the “area was not now a powder keg. There is no real danger of a major explosion. But the Soviets would like us to believe that such a danger is imminent and the Arabs–Egypt and Jordan in particular–are doing their beat to put this hoax over.”
Rabbi Herschel Schacter, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which convened the two-day meeting, told the delegates, “We do not meet in a protest rally–although the prospect of a Four Power Mideast conference does not strike us as a useful or constructive approach to settling a war than can only be ended by the parties themselves, negotiating a just peace. We meet to exchange ideas on how best to achieve peace, to prepare a statement of position and plan a course of action, reflecting the unity of American Jewry in our concern for Israeli brethren. We meet because of the urgency of communicating our views to the new Administration as it plans for Four Power talks which many of us believe will imperil the supreme national interest of the U.S. and the security of Israel.” Rabbi Schacter noted that the meeting was one of the most broadly representative assemblies of Jewish leadership ever held in this country, noting that it marked the first time that students and other young people had participated as equals in a national conference of Jewish leadership.
Dr. Emanuel Neumann, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel–American section, warned that the proposed Four Power talks were designed by France and the USSR “to bring about an erosion of the American position, the writing off of a freely negotiated peace between Israel and her neighbors and Israel’s withdrawal from the Suez.” The meeting opened with a memorial service for the late Premier Levi Eshkol led by Rabbi Arthur J. Lelyveld of Cleveland, American Jewish Congress president.